The addition of wooden shutters to any window will improve the general appearance of a home and significantly increase its value. In addition the timeless elegance and organic appearance of wooden fittings appeals to many homeowners who would like to maintain the authenticity of older homes where the original wooden shutters require replacement.
However, many homeowners would like to balance the quest for exceptional classic good looks with environmental awareness.
So, if this is the case - what are the eco-friendly options for your wood shutters especially if you have your heart set on enjoying the warmth and style offered by either internal or external shutters?
One of the choices available is to fit so called 'faux wooden' shutters to the windows of the home. There are a variety of options as far as material is concerned with one of the most popular materials being engineered wooden shutters which are mostly manufactured from 'composite wood' (MDF). The composite wood is made from compressed wood shavings and sawdust. These shutters are a suitable replacement for hardwood shutters and they can offer superior insulating properties when compared to traditional wooden shutters.
Composite material can also last longer than wooden shutters. However, there are some downsides. Composite material can be heavier than traditional wooden shutters due to the fact that aluminum is often used to increase the rigidity of the shutters and because it has no grain is only available in solid colors.
Some reviews have indicated that a small number of consumers have experienced problems with MDF shutters swelling due to water seepage into the interior of the shutter. This does however seem to be limited to certain manufacturers. A quick look at user reviews will enable the homeowner to choose from MDF products that have established an excellent reputation for durability. I found this resource really helpful: www.utexas-edu.com
The upside is that composite 'wooden' shutters are made from renewable and sustainable sources which makes living up to self imposed green requirements a breeze.
There are also other materials that can be used for either internal and external wooden shutters. These other materials can include PVC and poly. For many people these materials are preferable to the MDF option. The reason for this is that this type of material is incredibly hard wearing and significantly lighter than MDF options. However, once again these materials are only available in a limited color palette and have been known to fade or yellow after years of use.
There's also the question as to whether or not these types of shutters are truly eco-friendly due to the fact that many of the materials used are by products of the petroleum industry. However, the alternative to using these products is to merely dump them - a step which would lead to significant environmental damage. In addition new manufacturing techniques have reduced the effect of using these sorts of by products.
If you as an environmentally aware home owner wish to find a solution that is both sustainable and eco-friendly you do have options. However, the best approach would be to find a manufacturer who can advise you of the best solution to your unique requirements.
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